Jim Wooldridge Named UC Riverside’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Wooldridge served six seasons as the Highlanders head men’s basketball coach, before accepting the job of interim athletics director last year

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Jim Wooldridge

RIVERSIDE, CA, January 15, 2014—Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox today named Jim Wooldridge as the University’s director of intercollegiate athletics.

Wooldridge, who served six seasons as the Highlanders head men’s basketball coach from 2007-13, accepted the job of interim athletics director in July of last year.

“I’m pleased to name Jim Wooldridge as our new athletics director,” said Wilcox. “Jim has dedicated his professional life to the attainment of successful outcomes for student-athletes. In his more than six years at UC Riverside, first as a coach, and then as interim AD, he has taken a leadership role in the advancement of intercollegiate athletics, while promoting integrity, collective achievement, and academic support across all sports. His close relationships on campus and in our region will be an asset as our athletics department moves forward.”

“I’m extremely excited about this opportunity, and the confidence that Chancellor Wilcox has shown in me and the direction in which our department is headed,” said Wooldridge. “We’ve made great strides over the past several years, and I am looking forward to continuing to build on that momentum.

“Intercollegiate athletics plays an important role in bringing together a community, and we have a dedicated group of nearly 400 student-athletes and staff members who are focused on doing just that. I know that our athletics department can be a source of pride for the university and the entire Inland Empire, and I am grateful to Chancellor Wilcox for allowing me to lead this department over the coming years.”

UC Riverside Athletics has raised its standing in recent years by placing an emphasis on strengthening its ties to the community, upgrading its facilities and developing aggressive new fundraising strategies through the Highlanders’ corporate partnerships, marketing and philanthropic endeavors.

“Jim Wooldridge is the perfect choice to serve as the athletics director for UC Riverside,” said UCR alumnus and Athletics Hall of Fame member Nick Goldware.  “He knows the university, the people and the job; but more importantly, he has all the skills and personality to move the athletics program to the next level.  The chancellor has made a great selection, and I’m very happy for Jim and his wife Annie as well as the university.”

“I could not be more pleased with the Chancellor’s decision,” said Matt Nelson, chair of the UC Riverside Athletics Association. “As the men’s basketball coach for six years, Jim has shown a commitment to UC Riverside basketball, the alumni and the community. When he was named the interim athletic director, this passion easily translated to all of UC Riverside athletics. Furthermore, he clearly has the respect of the coaches and athletes, which is essential in moving UC Riverside athletics forward as a team effort. In the six short months that he has been on the job, Jim has provided a vision and begun executing plans to improve UCR Athletics on many fronts. I am thrilled that we can continue to move forward and gain momentum with him as our athletics director.”

Wooldridge has nearly 400 coaching victories as head coach at Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, Central Missouri and UC Riverside. He also served as an assistant coach with the six-time NBA Champion Chicago Bulls.

UC Riverside is a member of the Big West Conference and competes in 17 sports at the NCAA Division I level, the highest level of intercollegiate competition in the country.

Since making the transition to Division I in 2001, the Highlanders have made NCAA postseason appearances in baseball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s track and field.

To get the latest news about UC Riverside Athletics, please visit gohighlanders.com.

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